Kdenlive UI: Split View -- Odds and Ends

Kdenlive's split view mode allows to split the clip monitor in half: left half with effects applied, right half without effects. Recently, this feature has finally  arrived in the project monitor and improves Kdenlive's workflow significantly...

Traditionally, Kdenlive's project monitor had something that was called split view but in fact was a multitrack view. Now that the multitrack view has been properly named, the Kdenlive developers added also split view to the project monitor.

Actually, split view in the project view is a great addition. Before, color grading clip in the timeline was a daunting task. For instance, when shooting underwater video the same clip may have several useful shots, but in greatly varying lighting conditions. So grading the whole clip is of no use, instead, all clips need to be color graded only in the timeline. So far, this meant to permanently switch off and on the whole effect stack or individual effects to check grading.

In Search for the Split View Button

With split view in the project monitor/timeline, this tedious switch on-switch off procedure is not necessary anymore. Good. But ... where's the split view button in the project monitor...?

New split view button in the top right corner of the effects stack.

Well, the button for split view is actually located in the Properties pane; in the effects stack in particular (see also the screenshot above). While this may seem awkward at first, it actually is the correct place.

Split view activated in project monitor.

The basic idea here is that you can select an individual clip in the timeline and then activate split view only for this particular clip. The project view thus only shows the currently selected clip with and without effects side by side (see also the screenshot above where split screen is enabled for good effect).

All other track compositing is temporarily disabled until the user switches off split view again or selects another clip in the timeline.

So, as a rule of thumb: split view always works only on a single clip. In the project monitor, this single clip is the currently selected clip in the timeline.

Nota Bene

The split view icon also got a redesign: its previous design looked like the shuttle doors of buses and trains. Traditionally, the shuttle door icon is associated with multi-window operations.

The new design instead picks up the visual language for effects: the star. We now simply combine the star with the split pane visual language, the latter is a simple dashed vertical line. In the end, this creates a much better visual association with Kdenlive effects. And this is exactly what we want to achieve for improved UI quality.